New Delhi : Exactly a year after the 73-day military stand-off ended at Doklam with a semblance of “visible normalcy,” India’s defences are much superior with more than 30,000 troops and even a regiment of tanks lined up along eastern Sikkim facing the Chumbi valley as against only about 1,000 Chinese troops permanently stationed there, the defence ministry sources said.

They said India, however, has not to be complacent since China has added military infrastructure at Yatung and upgraded an air base at 89-sq km plateau Shigatse, 225 km north of Doklam, at the trijunction of India-China and Bhutan, though all in its own territory and not at the disputed spot.

Since last year, the two sides have agreed to resolve issues at the level of local military commanders and not let matters escalate to have long sand-offs. Sources said a fresh memorandum of understanding (MoU) is being drafted on the defence cooperation while engagement between the two armed forces is being expanded.

“We have also strictly banned jostling, touching, heckling or shouting at Chinese troops and issued strict instructions to our troops to maintain sanctity of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) by remaining within the laid down protocol though without yielding the ground.

The sources said the border is quieter now and the number of transgressions by the Chinese troops have also come down from 426 in 2017 to 170 in 2018 till todate. The bilateral talks, specially after Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke in Wuhan in April, have led to normalcy as better measures are being effected to prevent any new stand-off between the two troups, the sources added.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal